The Eighteenth Century Studies Seminar

The Eighteenth Century Studies Seminar is an interdisciplinary seminar that is supported by four Schools at the University of Leeds:

It was originally set up in the late 1980s by Professor Bill Speck from the Department of History and by Diana Douglas from the Department of Fine Art.

Revived in the 1990s by Adrian Wilson of the Philosophy Department (now the School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science), and then taken forward by Professor John Chartres and Professor Malcolm Chase from the School of History, it ran most successfully for several years meeting, with the help of the late Chris Sheppard (Head of Special Collections, Brotherton Library).


Seminars take place across the year. Previous presentations include:

  • Professor Katie Scott of the Courtauld Institute on The Philosopher’s Room: Diderot’s regrets over the loss of his old dressing gown;
  • Dr Richard Johns of the University of York on A thin red line: the painted interior in early modern England;
  • Dr James Taylor on Sir Joseph Banks and the visualisation of Terra Australis (1768-1803): an examination of why artists were selected for these British voyages of exploration.

Details of our current and upcoming seminars can be found on the events pages on the School website.

Academic team

The members of our Committee are drawn from across the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures: